“News” was flashing around the Internet yesterday that the Marines had surrendered their weapons to the Iranian-allied Houthis rebels who have seized control of Yemen, some saying it was on the orders of President Obama and Secretary Kerry, which would have been a humiliation for them and the United States.
The Corps is denying that happened:
“The Marine Security Force left the American embassy in Yemen for the movement to the airfield as part of the “ordered departure” with only personal weapons. All crew served weapons were destroyed at the embassy prior to movement. None of them were ‘handed over’ in any way to anyone. The destruction of weapons at the embassy and the airport was carried out in accordance with an approved destruction plan.
“Upon arrival at the airfield, all personal weapons were rendered inoperable in accordance with advance planning. Specifically, each bolt was removed from its weapons body and rendered inoperable by smashing with sledgehammers. The weapons bodies, minus the bolts, were then separately smashed with sledgehammers. All of these destroyed components were left at the airport — and components were scattered; no usable weapon was taken from any Marine at Sana’a airport.”
The weapons were destroyed because the Marines were leaving on a commercial flight.
UPDATE: Similar to what a commenter said below, retired Marines are finding it unbelievable, maddening even, that the Marines in Yemen were forced to destroy their personal weapons:
Some retired Marines took to social media and websites to express frustration with what they described as a “blatant blunder” of evacuation procedures.
“Whether a commercial flight or military flight, either way it does not add up,” said Yinon Weiss, a former U.S. Marine and the CEO of RallyPoint, a military community website. “I cannot think of any other time in recent U.S. history that any service member had to destroy their own personal weapons.”
To Mr. Weiss, the peculiar act indicates that the Marines were unwitting participants in “a hasty evacuation” and “under duress.”
“The fact that this happened indicates to me that something went terribly wrong,” he said.
Other former Marines took to his web site to complain.
“I guarantee every single one of those Marines was pissed off and swearing with every swing of those hammers,” one commenter said. “Chartered civilian airline or not, we traveled with weapons without issue.”